Arbitrary Justice The Power of the American Prosecutor

ISBN-10: 0195384733
ISBN-13: 9780195384734
Edition: 2009
Authors: Angela J. Davis
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Description: What happens when public prosecutors, the most powerful officials in the criminal justice system, seek convictions instead of justice? Why are cases involving well-to-do victims often prosecuted more vigorously than those involving poor victims? Why  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.50
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 4/27/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

What happens when public prosecutors, the most powerful officials in the criminal justice system, seek convictions instead of justice? Why are cases involving well-to-do victims often prosecuted more vigorously than those involving poor victims? Why do wealthy defendants frequently enjoy more lenient plea bargains than the disadvantaged? In this eye-opening work, Angela J. Davis shines a much-needed light on the power of American prosecutors, revealing how the day-to-day practice of even the most well-intentioned prosecutors can result in unequal treatment of defendants and victims. Ranging from mandatory minimum sentencing laws that enhance prosecutorial control over the outcome of cases, to the increasing politicization of the office, Davis uses powerful stories of individuals caught in the system to demonstrate how the perfectly legal exercise of prosecutorial discretion can result in gross inequities in criminal justice. For the paperback edition, Davis provides a new Afterword which covers such recent incidents of prosecutorial abuse as the Jena Six case, the Duke lacrosse case, the Department of Justice firings, and more.

Angela J. Davis is a professor of Law at the American University Washington College of Law where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Criminal Defense: Theory and Practice. Professor Davis has been a Visiting Professor at George Washington University Law School and Georgetown University Law Center. She has served on the adjunct faculty at George Washington, Georgetown, and Harvard Law Schools. Professor Davis is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor (Oxford University Press, 2007), the co-editor of Trial Stories (with Professor Michael E. Tigar) (Foundation Press, 2007), and a co-author of the 6th edition of Basic Criminal Procedure (with Professors Stephen Saltzburg and Daniel Capra) (Thomson West 2012). Professor Davis' other publications include articles and book chapters on prosecutorial discretion and racism in the criminal justice system. Professor Davis received the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment in 2002, the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2009, and the Washington College of Law's Pauline Ruyle Moore award for scholarly contribution in the area of public law in 2000 and 2009. Professor Davis' book Arbitrary Justice won the Association of American Publishers 2007 Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division Award for Excellence in the Law and Legal Studies Division. She was awarded a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship in 2004. Professor Davis is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Law School. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Sentencing Project and the Southern Center for Human Rights.Professor Davis served as the Executive Director of the National Rainbow Coalition from 1994 - 1995. From 1991 - 1994, she was the Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia ("PDS"). She also served as the Deputy Director from 1988 - 1991 and as a staff attorney at PDS from 1982 - 1988, representing indigent juveniles and adults charged with crimes. Professor Davis is a former law clerk of the Honorable Theodore R. Newman of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. nbsp;

Prosecutorial Discretion: Power and Privilege
The Power to Charge
Let's Make a Deal: The Power of the Plea Bargain
Prosecutors and the Victims of Crime
Prosecutors and the Death Penalty
Federal Prosecutors and the Power of the Attorney General
Prosecutorial Misconduct: The Abuse of Power and Discretion
Prosecutorial Ethics
Prosecutorial Accountability
Prospects for Reform
Afterword
Notes
Index

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